Behind the Headlines: Balancing Growth and Preservation in Austin: The Stop Fitzhugh Concert Venue Coalition’s Fight for Sustainable Development

Coalition building in Texas, Stop Fitzhugh Concert Venue Coalition, ECPR Texas is a public relations firm in Austin, Texas

In a city like Austin that is experiencing booming growth while trying to maintain its natural beauty and uniqueness, finding harmony between progress and preservation is essential. 

On Jan. 29, as featured in the Austin American-Statesman, at the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality meeting for a wastewater hearing for a proposed concert venue, hundreds of concerned citizens demonstrated the importance of that balance when they united to share their concerns about the development that would not only threaten the environment, but also create dangerous traffic and safety issues.

The Stop Fitzhugh Concert Venue Coalition started from modest origins—with a small group meeting at a brewery to discuss a proposed concert venue. It has grown to a robust force of thousands of members who are advocating for thoughtful development, and addressing concerns like water, noise and light pollution.

So how did we do it?

  1. Crafted a compelling vision: At the heart of the Stop Fitzhugh Concert Venue Coalition is a clear vision and goal of sustaining our natural environment and vital resources like water balanced with thoughtful, safe development.
  2. Engaged diverse stakeholders: By fostering open dialogue and active engagement, the coalition broadened its support base, including residents, businesses, environmentalists, planners and policymakers.
  3. Forged strategic alliances: Collaborating with like-minded organizations like the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, Save Barton Springs and other influential figures amplified the coalition’s impact and enhanced its credibility, garnering recognition and support from across the community.
  4. Effectively communicated: Clear and accessible communication, through various platforms including newsletters, social media and meetings, ensured that the coalition’s message resonated widely, fostering understanding and garnering support.
  5. Advocated for thoughtful solutions: the Stop Fitzhugh Concert Venue Coalition isn’t against all development, just unthoughtful, ill-planned development. The coalition supports alternative locations or enhanced environmental studies and work that could be done by the developer to prioritize sustainability and address community concerns.


The coalition is fostering a sense of ownership and collective agency, and encourages proactive involvement in shaping their community. All of these steps led to empowered community action and a coalition that grew from a group of less than 20 to more than 2,800  members. As the battle against the developers wages on, the sense of community and passion for a cause this group deeply believes in continues to grow. 

For more information about this effort, visit

Insights article written by Lia Truitt, vice president at ECPR Texas

Contact Us

* indicates required fields. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.